When Americans assess what is really important in their lives, three things stand out - family life, health and peace of mind. At the bottom of the list come money, sex and romantic love.
When asked how satisfied they are with these important dimensions, 67 percent report they are very satisfied with their family life, 54 percent are pleased with their health and 52 percent are satisfied with peace of mind.
Here is how people score the way life is going these days:
The most satisfying part of life to many Americans today is family life. A substantial 92 percent say this is very important and 67 percent say they are very satisfied with their family life.
An even higher 97 percent say good health is very important and 54 percent indicate they are very satisfied with the state of their health.
Thirty-eight percent report that sex is very important and 52 percent say they are highly satisfied with sex life.
Fifty-eight percent report that religion is very important part of life and 57 percent are very pleased with the way their religion helps them.
There are other areas however where there is a shortfall between expectation and fulfilment. According to a recent Harris Survey of 1,442 adults nationwide:
Ninety-one percent believe that peace of mind is very important, but only 52 percent are very satisfied with their peace of mind.
Sixty percent maintain that work is very important to them but only 43 percent say their jobs are giving them high satisfaction.
Sixty-nine percent feel that education is important but only 25 percent are very satisfied with their education.
Only 33 percent feel that romantic love is very important and only 40 percent feel very satisfied with this area of their life.
No more than 47 percent feel that money is very important in life, despite the press of inflation. However only 25 percent are very satisfied with their income.
These results indicate that in the late 1970s non-material values have become dominant to Americans. Obviously to people without money, income is critically important. But in a society where 83 percent of the households are well above the subsistence level money takes a back seat to such personal matters as family life, health and peace of mind.
Of course, health has a special place in this hierachy of values. people have felt the press of inflation in this area in the past few years. As result when something like health insurance comes up for debate there is likely to be a great deal of personal involvement in the issue.
The results of this survey indicate both th satisfactions and the disappointments that Americans have about their lives on this Thanksgiving Day.